In what seemed like a good idea at the time, I put my working desk in front of my office window. It has mostly come off as planned – a happy writing place with a feel for being outside while enjoying the comfort of air-conditioning in this Mississippi-in-August oven. But there are distractions.
The butterflies and bumblebees have discovered the flowers I planted, my favorites right outside this window – as it turns out, their favorites, too. From tiny nondescript brown butterflies through several varieties and colors up to the magnificent Emperors, these Lepidoptera (my second major was science) flit from place to place bringing to mind the name given to them in Birds and Blooms Magazine of “flying flowers.”
And the bumblebees! I’d never thought they were fascinating until they discovered the flower in this picture. I forget its name, but I got three one spring a few years ago and now have a yard full thanks to reseeding. The bees evidently love the nectar on this willowy plant. I become entranced as they latch onto the flower causing it to go up and down like a vertical pendulum. Absorbed in its meal, the bee seems not to notice his joyride.
Neither of these, however, causes as great an interruption as the hummingbird who drinks at the feeder and entertains in payment. Some days, she stops dead in front of my window in a holding flight pattern to stare at me. I think she’s saying, “Thanks for breakfast. It was delicious.” Other times, she brings a friend to play out an elaborate dance.
However, I think the hummingbird’s onto me. In this last view with her cocked head, I see a look I used to give students when they’d lollygagged long enough, a look that says better than words, “Play time is over. Now get back to work.”
I answer just like they did. “Yes, ma’am, I was just fixing* to.”
*(For those not from the South, there is no proper verb that means exactly the same thing as "fixing.")